ACM to honor Boltin; Variety Attractions owner to receive award in August


By Jim Davis


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Todd Boltin doesn’t have to pull as many road trips as he used to — in 40 years of booking, entertainment he’s learned how to streamline things a bit.

He is, however, looking forward to an August excursion when the Variety Attraction president and owner heads to Nashville, Tenn., to receive the 2022 Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music.

The award was announced May 14 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and will be presented Aug. 24 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

According to an ACM release, the award recognizes “venues and talent buyers/promoters who have bought or promoted a predetermined number of country music concerts and helped promote country music ticket sales.”

Named after the late talent promoter Don Romeo — who helped shape the way entertainment acts are booked today — Boltin said he’s honored to receive an award he feels acknowledges the values and work ethic he learned from Romeo and Variety Attractions founder George Moffett.

“I think it comes down to buying volume, as well as your reputation for trying your best to do things the right way,” he explained. “When it comes from the artists and members of the Academy … it’s hard to describe, really. There are so many involved in this category. This is all across the country.”

Boltin, who also won the award in 2010, is a 1978 Bradford High School graduate and resident of Piqua. He started working at Zanesville-based Variety Attractions in 1982 and eventually bought the company in 2016. Variety helps bring national touring entertainment acts to local, state and national venues including Hobart Arena, Country Concert in Fort Loramie, Fraze Pavilion, The Great Darke County Fair and The Allen County Fair.

Looking back, Boltin admits a lot has changed since he jumped on board at Variety.

“When I started started working at Variety, George introduced me to his friend and business partner Don Romeo. I spent countless hours with Don and George in my early years, and also with managers and agents,” he said. “Back in that time, there were no websites or social media and not a lot of the big three-days festivals or big tours going out. If an artist wanted to have a career they went out and played all the festivals and fairs that they could.

“Don’s office was in Omaha (Nebraska) and Variety was in Zanesville, so they could route artists out to the midwest and Don would route them out further west … then route them back to us,” he continued. “What I learned I learned from George and Don — even though I didn’t know it at the time — I was getting my education there. Don used to joke, ‘Earn while you learn, Todd.’”

More importantly, perhaps, Boltin was mentored by two industry giants willing to share years of knowledge and experience.

“Both of those guys were very well respected. They did it the right way,” he said. “Winning an award that is named after (Don) makes it extra special.”

Boltin said he still visits 10-12 states a year and has driven close to three million miles, but nothing close to the driving required when he started.

“In those early days, I did one-nighters … drive to a show, do the show, then drive 8 or 9 hours back,” he said. “Now, I’ve got my client base where I’ll be in a place for 10 days. But doing those one nighters was where I learned.”

And where he learned what an impact his profession could have on people.

“People don’t realize we, as talent buyers, can touch peoples’ lives. Think about it: First dates, anniversaries … people meeting at Country Concert for first time,” he said. “People like us are responsible for that happening. And, it is quite a rush when you see those crowds and you think to yourself ‘We pulled this off.’”

They did indeed.

For more information about the Academy of Country music, go to To learn move about Variety Attraction, visit

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